Bathing in Verse: Christopher Anstey’s The New Bath Guide and Georgian Resort Satire

Shaun Regan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The New Bath Guide details the attempts made by the unfortunate Blunderhead family to adapt to the culture of Bath society. Through narrating the family’s mishaps, the poem offers a lively satiric exposé of the social rituals at Britain’s leading resort for bathing. Yet for all its fun at the expense of Bath, Regan argues that the poem also conveys the resort’s many attractions. The chapter considers Anstey’s anapaestic depiction of Bath in terms of its influence on resort-focused verse into the early decades of the nineteenth century. In order to grasp the full significance of the Guide, it is necessary to recognise the degree to which both Anstey and his imitators diverged from a satiric register that cast water-based resorts as iniquitous spaces of immorality and ill-health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpa Culture and Literature in England, 1500-1800
EditorsSophie Chiari, Samuel Cuisinier-Delorme
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-66568-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-66570-8
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameEarly Modern Literature in History
ISSN (Print)2634-5919
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5927

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • (Medical) satire
  • Anapaestic verse
  • Bath
  • Brighton
  • Cheltenham
  • Coastal resorts
  • Guidebooks
  • Harrogate
  • Margate
  • Ramsgate
  • Satiric technique
  • Sociability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language


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